Thompson’s Station is now a Bee City USA affiliate.
After unanimous approval from the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, the town is joining several other cities and campuses across the United States in committing to making their communities into healthier habitats for pollinators.
Pollinators include animals such as bumble bees, honey bees, moths, beetles, butterflies, flies and hummingbirds among many others. These animals carry pollen on their bodies from plant to plant, allowing the transfer of essential genetic material to facilitate flowering plant reproduction.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, pollinators are responsible for assisting in the reproduction of more than 80% of the earth’s flowering plants. More than 150 U.S. food crops depend on pollinators, and the USDA estimates that pollination-dependent crops are worth more than $10 billion per year.
Bee City USA is a nonprofit initiative of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation based in Portland, Oregon.
“The program aspires to make people more PC – pollinator-conscious, that is,” Xerces executive director Scott Hoffman Black said in a news release. “If lots of individuals and communities begin planting native, pesticide-free flowering trees, shrubs and perennials, it will create large-scale change for many, many species of pollinators.”
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Thompson’s Station has freedom in how to pursue and accomplish its conservation efforts, but in order to maintain its affiliation with Bee City USA, the town will be required to report achievements and hold related celebrations annually.
The town also is encouraged to acknowledge its commitment publicly, hold public awareness activities, prepare an annual report on “habitat enhancement activities” and especially to help develop school gardens and kids educational programs.
Thompson’s Station’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board will be the facilitating committee for these efforts and invites community members to its first Tuesday monthly meetings to share pollinator-friendly initiatives.
“Our Board let it be known that we understand the importance of sustaining pollinators and want to make the Town more pollinator friendly. We are grateful to the Parks Board for bringing the opportunity to our attention,” Thompson’s Station mayor Corey Napier said.
For more information on Thompson’s Station Bee City USA initiative, contact town planner Micah Wood at email@example.com.
Anika Exum is a reporter covering Williamson County for The Tennessean. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @aniexum.
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